Included with our most recent water utility bill was a notice for our annual spring clean-up curbside collection. This is always a reminder that I need to assess what craft organization systems are working well, and which ones need to be updated or discarded. For that reason, I love reading blog posts about organizing systems, or magazines such as Stampington’s Where Women Create and Cloth Paper Scissors’ Studios. They are filled with numerous tips.
You’ll recall that in a previous post I described the paper stacking trays I purchased as Archiver’s stores nationwide were going out of business. This tray system is working quite well, and I rate it 4 stars. Next to it is a stack of plastic shoe boxes that store rubber stamps, acrylic stamping pads, dry adhesives and other paper crafting supplies. While the boxes fit in that space very nicely, they have a tendency to lean—and I’m always afraid they will topple. Still, I don’t know what else would fit in that space, and so far this system seems to be working, so I’m giving it 3 stars.
Buttons are one of those craft-and-sewing supplies that seem to take on a life of their own, spilling into every corner you can imagine. I don’t have a lot of space in my paper crafting studio, so I tend to fit the buttons into containers with a small footprint. I use a rotating spice rack for some buttons, and stack round compartmentalized boxes on old CD spindles for others. A wall cubbyhole system holds jars with buttons, as well as other odds and ends. If I had a larger room, I might use a set of stacking mini-drawers you can pick up in any hardware or home improvement store, but with a limited amount of space, these multiple systems work pretty well. I’ll give all of them 4 stars.
Many of my paper crafting supplies defy categorization, so I clip them onto a rotating clip-it rack. For the most part, this system works well, but it does have a tendency to get crowded, and I don’t like the fact that the clips get tangled up with each other, or that removal of items from a clip is sometimes what the British might call “fiddly.” Although it’s a vertical storage system, it takes up more space than I’d like. It was definitely an expensive purchase. This organizing system gets 2.5 stars.
I discovered that I had too many adhesive crystals and pearls to fit easily on the above rack, so I re-purposed a tiered brochure holder from the office supply store. It’s easy to organize the supplies into basic categories, is extremely portable, and takes up very little space. Four stars!
I have stored colored pencils in fabric cases, hinged-lid plastic boxes and in margarine tubs. Honestly, the easiest method of storage is probably the last one, although it’s not particularly attractive. I discovered an unused acrylic canister in my kitchen cupboards that works just as well, and looks better. I like being able to see the pencil leads, so vertical storage works best for me. This system gets 4 stars.
Though technically not located in my paper crafting studio, but instead in my sewing room, this thimble rack stores ribbon wound onto cardboard squares. The ribbon is sorted by color and is visible and accessible—and the system itself is kind of fun to look at. If there is any drawback to it at all, it’s that not all of my ribbons fit into the cubbies and have to be stored in a drawer using a similar organization system. I view this as a shopping issue, however, not an organization one. I rate this system 4 stars.
Some of the best storage systems, I think, fit the following criteria:
- They don’t require you to redesign your entire space.
- They can be used in multiple ways and in various arrangements.
- They don’t rob the piggy bank.
- They don’t gobble up crafting space.
- They’re not an eyesore.
- They are sometimes re-purposed items.
- They’re not so fussy that they get in the way of your crafting.
- They’re fun!
What storage tools have you discovered that you can’t do without? Can you name some other factors that you consider when you select a storage system for your crafts?
© 2014 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.